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How Seniors Can Cope with Scleroderma

Senior Care Greenwich CT

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Scleroderma is known as an autoimmune rheumatic disease that causes the skin to harden and contract. Each person develops different symptoms, but those with a severe case of scleroderma may need daily help from a senior care provider. The bad news with this disease is that there is no known cure for the disease, but the good news is that there are several ways seniors with scleroderma can help minimize or remove its symptoms. Your loved one’s doctor can create a customized care plan to help them manage their symptoms.

To lessen the effects of this disease and make it easier for seniors to cope with it, here are some tips to follow.  

  • Talk to a therapist. One of the symptoms of scleroderma is an emotional one. The senior may feel shocked, angry, in denial, guilty, sad, depressed, or will blame themselves. Speaking with a therapist, either alone or in a group setting, will help the senior learn to navigate through their emotional roller coaster. Group therapy sessions are a great idea because your loved one will have the opportunity to talk to and connect with others who have similar illnesses.
  • Create a support system. There are two support systems the elder will need: a medical one and an emotional support group. Having a team of nurses, therapists, and doctors in the support network will provide resources and medical advice for the elder. Family members, friends, and their elderly care provider will also be needed to provide emotional support. These people will encourage the senior to follow their doctor’s treatment program and will help with tasks around the house that are too difficult for them.
  • Get rest. Someone with this condition will need to make sure they do not overexert their energy and abilities. This could cause them to become over-fatigued, so they should get plenty of rest when feeling tired.
  • Control stressful situations. Stress can make the symptoms worse, so learning how to cope with these situations will lessen the effects scleroderma has on your loved one. Meditation, yoga, or letting others handle their responsibilities will help the senior avoid becoming stressed.
  • Eat well. Healthy foods are a great way to manage the disease by keeping the elder at a healthy weight.
  • Practice good hygiene. Taking care of the gums, teeth, skin, and feet will reduce the chances of getting an infection or making scleroderma worse.
  • Avoid smoking. Someone who smokes with scleroderma may experience a change in lung function and blood circulation. Encourage your loved one to discuss with their doctor a plan to help them quit smoking.

Scleroderma can be a very uncomfortable condition, but these ideas will help the senior manage its symptoms.  


If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home Senior Care Services in Greenwich CT, please contact the caring staff at Fairfield Family Care today.